Eighty-two regular season hockey games have come and gone, and now the real fun begins: the Stanley Cup playoffs. Sixteen of the thirty teams in the league make it to round one, and the Vancouver Canucks—whose fortunes I've followed since they joined the league in 1970—are one of them. The first round pits the ’Nucks (3rd overall in the Western Conference) against the sixth place Dallas Stars, and game one started last night (11 April) at 7.00 pm PDT. It ended a few minutes ago on 12 April, around 12.30 am PDT, just a couple of minutes shy of the end of the fourth overtime period; it's now the sixth longest game in Stanley Cup playoff history. Sudden death overtime is bad enough; four periods of it is apt to have players and fans alike reaching for an oxygen mask. Fortunately the Canucks prevailed 5–4, so that's one game down, as many as twenty-seven to go (fingers crossed). I don't know if I can take too many more games like this one, though.